In the seven decades following the discovery of oil, human settlements across the kingdom have changed dramatically. Roughly over only two generations, Saudi society has trodden hastily towards modernity and witnessed a wholesale overhaul of traditional notions of civic/rural development. As our homes transitioned from mud, bricks, and stone to clad reinforced concrete; so has our society, its constituent communities, and respective shared values. This project aims to unfold the narrative of modern development since the former decades of the 20th century by focusing on architecture and urbanism across the different cities, towns, and villages in the Kingdom. By studying these early interactions with modern technologies and development models, we may better understand the ideological repercussions of modernity. In doing so, we may critically assess our contemporary attitudes towards tradition and its role in reshaping our collective values.
Funded by Goethe Institut Saudi Arabia - goethe_in_saudiarabien